Highlights from SGFW 2016: Ong Shunmugam & Stolen

Highlights from SGFW 2016: Ong Shunmugam & Stolen

Singapore Fashion Week

Text: Andrea Sim

Photo: Andy Leow

Ong Shunmugam celebrates tradition in a modern light and Stolen teaches us a lesson on introspection

The inspiration: A maverick in the local landscape, designer Priscilla Shunmugam departed from the spring 2017 and fall 2016 calendar of Singapore Fashion Week this time around, and brought the buzz to yesterday's show schedule with Cheongsam — a coquettish take on the traditional qipao. A line originating from her yearly Chinese New Year (CNY) collections, Shunmugam shared with Buro in an exclusive interview, "If you think about CNY, it is after all a festival celebrating the arrival of spring in the Lunar calendar."

The collection: In quintessential Shunmugam DNA, the time-honoured garment — despite being cut from traditional textiles in auspicious Chinese colourways and Peranakan pastels — were treated to modern twists by way of cobweb hemlines (look 5), cold shoulder cut-outs (looks 6, 7 & 8) and our favourite, mandarin collar tunics worn over bermudas (look 23). Given the restrictive nature of the cheongsam's figure-hugging silhouette, kudos to Shunmugam for taking into consideration the modern day woman's purposeful strides.

The accessories: Paired with each and every look were floral hand-painted Vans Authentic sneakers and floral hoop earrings laboured over by the designer and her team. While they were created just for the show and not for retail, you'll be glad to know that the Cheongsam 2017 collection is available for pre-orders now.

Read our SGFW 2016 interview Priscilla Shunmugam.

The inspiration: Bucking the traditional catwalk concept of models parading down the runway was designer Elyn Wong, whose inaugural presentation showed much like an art installation. Kicking off with a lone model perched on a structure of incongruous golden cubes, a thought-provoking soliloquy set the tone for Stolen's architectural collection. "I'm not alive for you to find me desirable," was the leitmotif, and as such, SS17 was a lesson on introspection.

The show: "With this collection, 'Concur' is the word for it," the designer shared. "It's about opposition and confliction coming together." By which, she meant the push and pull within that we've all experienced at one point or another. Set to the tune of live melodies from a xylophone, Wong's presentation culminated in two models — one in white and nude and the other, black — facing each other head on (image 8), before the latter striped off her black garments to reveal a nude ensemble underneath.

The clothing: Weaving this message into the her pieces by bringing together the hard and soft, fluid drapings in raw silk met the 
rigorous lines of accordian pleating in delicate organza (image 2), designed in Wong's signature open-back cuttings and soothing palette of nudes, white, grey and black. 

Related stories:
Highlights from SGFW 2016: Max Tan spring/summer 2017
Highlights from SGFW 2016: Aijek, Chi Chi Von Tang & Exhibit

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See all shows from Singapore Fashion Week 2016.